I first heard about the Jansport backpack guarantee when I was writing an article for Woman’s Day on back-to-school savings. At that time, two things were different in my life.
One, I was working as a freelance writer for national magazines. My niche? Consumer-oriented topics, especially if they involved saving money. It’s what lead me to write my popular book Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less. Published in 2010, that book still sells strongly.
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And, two, we were still on the L.L. Bean warranty train. We bought everything from L.L. Bean because of their generous lifetime warranty. Once L.L. Bean altered the parameters of that warranty, we started buying other brands that offered generous lifetime warranties.
How I learned of the Jansport backpack guarantee
Back to that Woman’s Day magazine assignment: At that time I was interviewing parents whose children had had Jansport backpacks with zippers that broke.
The parents knew about the guarantee and had inquired about the Jansport backpack repair as part of the Jansport return process. However, instead of simply repairing the backpacks, Jansport replaced the packs for free.
Jansport Lifetime Warranty Reviewed
The Jansports backpack warranty and guarantee overall is simple and straightforward:
JanSport engineers quality, durable, and reliable products. So, if your pack ever breaks down, simply return it to our warranty center. We’ll fix it or if we can’t we’ll replace it or refund it. We stand by our packs for a lifetime and since we’ve been making packs since 1967, that’s a guarantee you can stand by.
The company means it. When my daughter Annie’s Jansport backpack could no longer zip up, I simply went to the Jansport website, downloaded the form to fill out and send back with the pack, and sent it in. You see, you need to return the actual backpack in order for Jansport to do anything.
That makes sense given the line in their warranty statement about trying to fix the backpack first. And then, if they can’t do that, they’ll replace it or refund your money.
Even though Jansport is sold in national retailers–we got Annie’s Jansport backpack at Staples–your only option is to mail it back to Jansport.
FYI, I’ve never heard of anyone getting a refund. Everyone I’ve talked to — or interviewed for magazine articles — always just got a new backpack.
Jansport Warranty Cons
While getting a free replacement backpack sounds wonderful, there were a few drawbacks to the Jansport warranty.
One, I had to pay for my own shipping to the Jansport warranty center in California.
Two, my daughter Annie loves purple. She has from the day she was old enough to have an opinion about colors. And years later, it’s still her favorite color.
So, not surprisingly, the backpack with the broken zipper that we sent back was purple. However, there is no guarantee that Jansport will send you back a bag in the same color, if they end up replacing it.
In fact, Jansport did send us a new backpack to replace the one with the broken zipper. And it was a turquoise blue, plaid-like pattern, shown here.
While Annie would have preferred to get her purple backpack back, I was pretty happy with the free backpack, albeit minus the shipping charge (it was about $10).
Jansport Warranty Pros
On the plus side it didn’t take Jansport very long to acknowledge receipt of Annie’s broken backpack. I got an email a week later letting me know it had arrived.
I never heard from Jansport again. Then, almost a month to the day, Annie’s brand new backpack arrived on our doorstep.
Jansport is available in Canada
Also good news: there is a Jansport Canada warranty. So customers living in Canada can take advantage of the Jansport warranty as well.
Other backpacks with a guarantee
I wrote this article on backpacks with a guarantee, including Jansport, in case you have a brand loyalty elsewhere.